For Spring/Summer 2013, Manilla based label Proudrace presents a collection following their 90s aesthetic from their two previous seasons. With cult silhouettes from the iconic era which brought streetstyle to the forefront of mainstream fashion, Proudrace’s streamlined “1990NILE” collection which features a muted, monochrome palette of black and white adds subtle details such as hieroglyphic prints and a homage to ‘Sad Girl’ the protagonist of the 1993 film Mi Vida Loca. The style of Sad Girl is replicated by designers Rik Rasos and Pat Bondoc, yet brought to a new generation taking elements of Echo Park street style and recreating them with innovative fabric choices such as nylon and stretch black denim.
The season, heavy in separates that can be worn by both men and women was inspired by the designers love for athletic uniforms, focusing on the baseball jersey that is a prominent silhouette in the whole line. Furthermore, Proudrace have ventured into new territory with functional swimwear pieces such as one piece bathing suits and nylon shorts which can also be teamed with any of the other items from the collection. This ability to create transeasonal pieces allows Proudrace to focus on their niche rather than attempting to completely shy away from their personal style and creative preference, which they explained to Portable.
Portable: Tell us about the label. Where and when did it begin, what is your point of view and aesthetic, who is behind the creative process and what place do you believe it currently has in the market?
Proudrace: The creative process is shared by the two founders of the label. Our style is street, tough and minimal. We feel like producing pieces in small quantities gives the label an edge. It makes owning our pieces more special.
P: As stated, the collection has a very 90s feel to it, what is it about the 90s that fascinates you? Are there any specific references from the 90s that inspire you and this collection?
Proudrace: We both grew up in the 90s and most of our influences are from the things, the clothes, the films that we saw and experiences we had growing up. This season we were inspired by Sad Girl the protagonist of the Film Mi Vida Loca her fashion choices in the film were basis for some of the styling and the silhouettes for the collection. We also did a shirt that says ‘Sadgirl 93′ an homage to her and the year the film came out.
P: What are you influenced by?
Proudrace: We have a lot of creative people around us and they keep us inspired all the time. We also love global street style and the distinct fashion styles of people.
P: A lot of your pieces are unisex, what is it about clothing that can be shared that interests you?
Proudrace: The fact that it’s really convenient and it doubles a persons wardrobe. We’ve always been drawn to make pieces that we could also wear so unisex clothing is not a conscious effort for the brand. We just can’t find clothes that we want so we make them it’s just cool that it looks good on women too.
P: What is it about transitional clothing that interests you that you have done it for the past two seasons?
Proudrace: Since we’re a small label and we really can’t sustain to create collections in between like pre fall and resort .It’s a great way to have more options in a line that can connect you with those other seasons you can’t produce for. We also want the convenience of our customers to easily incorporate our pieces with their existing wardrobe and their past purchases from us. We want all of our collections to be connected with each other.
P: What do you think the fashion film adds to the collection, and how do you feel about the current trend of fashion films? Do you feel like people need this kind of visual stimulation to really engage in fashion?
Proudrace: You said it. It serves as visual stimulation. It also helps us to reach out to people in introducing our brand and the lifestyle that comes with it.
P: What was the idea behind the film?
Proudrace: We just want to showcase the clothes from head to toe. We’ve always done tight shots before with our films and right now we’re just breaking that trend.
P: You have a strong emphasis on fabrics in this collection. Can you tell us more about some of the specific garments and how you incorporated these different fabrics?
Proudrace: We introduced functional swimwear for this collection so we started to use nylon for swim shorts and swimsuit material for our staple bodysuits just to make them functional during the summer.
P: Do you feel having the garments shown on film is a good way to show the fit and movement? If so why or why not?
Proudrace: Yeah totally crucial.For smaller labels like us it’s also a good substitute from doing runway shows.
P: What is the label’s underlying aim or aesthetic, how would you describe what you are doing?
Proudrace: We just want to be your uniform. Your go to clothes. We want you to have a crush on our clothes and take it to dinner and love it for eternity.
P: What was the idea behind the film?
Judd Figuerres: The idea behind the film is just to make it effortless and simple without compromising the edge of the brand. Rik wanted me to incorporate my main style: the still frame and the long take. We wanted a different visual experience while retaining that certain grit that we’ve been doing from our past collaborations.
P: What equipment and techniques did you use and why?
Judd Figuerres: I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II just ’cause it’s full frame and I wanted to go as wide as I can get with the framing. I wanted everything to be flat; everything to be part of the frame. I also used a lot of strong lights to attain that deep focus.
P: Who, what and where were you inspired by and why?
Judd Figuerres: Proudrace never fails to inspire me. The brand just exudes a lot of energy and I being friends with the designers helps a lot in nurturing that energy and eventually turning it into creativity. Our relationship gives me a chance to understand where they’re coming from but it also gives me enough alienation to see how other people can perceive the message of their clothes. I always keep that dynamic in mind when I think about how my videos can represent their brand.
P: Who and what are your influences?
Judd Figuerres: My influences are quite bipolar. I am a child of surrealism and minimalism. I love the mundane, the profound and the abstract as much as I love the clean, the basic and the pure. It’s either I go wild or I go all out sleek; no in-between. I love Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali while I always find japanese and scandinavian minimalism inspiring.
P: What fascinates you about the marriage between fashion and moving image rather than just a still image? What do you think people take away from the moving image?
Judd Figuerres: It’s always about how film can synthesize layers into one whole effect. The key is always finding the right harmony between the clothes, the movement of the models, the score, and the montage. A lot of these elements are not present in photography. The most fascinating thing is how fashion filmmakers orchestrate these elements. It’s pretty much like regular filmmaking except the screenplay are the clothes and the designers are the writers. The moving image takes away the illusion of the still frame. Photographs present more latency in its message and it’s visual infinity can never be emulated through the moving image. People can pause a film but it’s not part of the medium’s nature; it’s always bound to end unlike photographs where one can stare at it for minutes (even hours) without any changes within the frame. The medium is the message: photography and filmmaking are complementing visual arts but each still presents a different experience.
P: How did you use film to showcase specific elements of the garments?
Judd Figuerres: The highlight of this collection are it’s prints and I didn’t want the film itself to distract the viewers from that wonderful detail. I used a very silent language to amplify the visual value of the prints. The models’ movement are also minimal: just right to let the viewers see the clothes in motion while also giving them enough visual space to appreciate the prints. This film is all about balance.